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A healthy mindset for healthy finances for 2023

Four things you can do right now to make your 2023 a rewarding one.

Time seems to move at supersonic speed nowadays. Is 2022 really almost over? It does make one's head go a bit dizzy. Especially over the last couple of years, we've all been overwhelmed with so much - COVID-19, floods, war, inflation, interest rates rising and prices going up etc. There's hardly any breathing space.

What awaits us in 2023?

Spiralling into negative scenarios is not going to be very helpful here. Why not focus on what is within your power to do instead?

Let's take a moment to ground ourselves and look at four simple things we can do to wrap up 2022 and welcome 2023.

1) Inventory 2022

How has 2022 been for you? And we don't mean start making a list of all the terrible things that have happened or mistakes you've made. Let's give 2022 a fair view. A calm inventory of the past year can help you pave the way for the new one.

What were three of your wins in 2022?

Small or large, they all matter, so write them down and remember how good they feel. You're going to want to get more in 2023! Sometimes your wins may not be visible or known to others, and they are still worth celebrating.

What were three areas that perhaps did not quite work out as you planned and what do you need to work on them?

It is helpful to clearly identify what worked, what didn't and why. It ensures if we do encounter a similar situation in the future, we´ll be able to handle it differently.

Take our free Financial Health Check List to look at what areas may need working on:

Taking stock of 2022 is also looking at what you no longer wish to do.

Were there tasks or issues which stopped you from greater productivity? It's a good time to look back and decide what really didn't serve you and that you'll no longer do it in 2023.

There is another important element to this - you need to identify what you no longer wish to do because there is someone else who can do it better than you. This could mean delegating work to your team, or getting an external professional to help you manage certain aspects of your work. Perhaps get the services of a marketing professional so you no longer have to struggle and spend time you don't have on figuring out your SEOs and social media. We use Vermilion Pinstripes, a modern marketing agency. Perhaps they can help you too. Or get a professional accountant if you've already tried and proven that numbers aren't really your cup of tea. Learn to identify your strengths as well as those of others who can help you take your business even further.

2) Make 2023 realistic

We've all heard of setting SMART goals. But often we go into a blank when asked to define what each of those letters stand for.

You want your goals to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. When setting SMART goals for your business, it can be quite challenging to be really specific or identify what is relevant. That is normal and many face this when they first try it. Speak to a financial professional if you need some guidance on this part.

Being realistic is really important here. An ambitious goal sounds pretty, but in real life it's useless if there are no means of achieving it. It's more effective to set goals that are actually achievable and realistic so you don´t overwhelm yourself.

Break them up into mini goals even, because each time we achieve a goal, no matter how small, the boost of dopamine we get drives us to want to achieve the next one.

Think sustainable! We are not machines, and we need to find ways to sustain our spirits.

So, what gets you excited about 2023?

What projects do you have e.g. mentorships, training, events, conferences etc. that can help take you one step further towards your goals?

Are there new markets you can tap into? New products and services you can offer?

Small business owners are quite a special breed in that we are good at being innovative and creative. It's almost like being smaller gives us a superpower to see things from a different perspective. Yes we may be limited in terms of finances and manpower, we´re not mega MNCs, but we do have our skills and creations that can make an impact on the market.

3) Keep the professional and personal separate

This can be a challenge for small business owners. Sometimes it's hard to know where the professional and personal begins and ends. You need goals for your business, and separate goals for your personal life.

First, you yourself have to recognise that you have the right to fully enjoy and invest in your personal life. You yourself have to respect your own personal life. Many of us are really good at curating our professional lives but we often neglect our personal lives. By now we know that there is no glory in never taking time off work, and burnout contributes nothing to employees or companies.

The undeniable truth is, when we are well taken care of and rested, we actually work better and can come up with more creative ideas and have a different perspective on solutions.

Be a tough editor of your personal life - say no to stress and burnout.

And it's okay to start small - allow yourself an hour to do whatever you want. Then perhaps you can work on getting the weekend off. Then allow yourself a week off. And perhaps you´ll find yourself looking forward to a two-week break without worrying if the business is going to collapse. If we are used to stress and running around 24/7, we cannot expect our operating systems in our heads to suddenly go from one extreme to another. Balance, not rigidity, is key.

And let's face it, when we are well, we are much nicer people to be with and work with!

4) Attitude makes a difference

Whether you are alone in your business or if you manage a small team, attitude makes a big difference.

When was the last time you told yourself, or your team, 'I'm proud of you!'. Everyone works hard and tries their best, including yourself, so it is important to celebrate every win, no matter how small. Pat yourself on your back, and congratulate your team for their wins too.

If you have been feeling intimidated by technology and holding on to a pen-and-paper way of doing things, perhaps 2023 could be your year to make a breakthrough and change your attitude. You don't have to start putting everything on platforms and apps immediately. Speak to your trusted financial advisor who can give you some suggestions on where and what to start with. At CATS4TAX, we use XERO accounting software and we are also certified trainers for XERO. As a small business owner, we have found it really useful to embrace technology and we are here to help our clients lose their fear of the digital space. You'll find yourself rather liking it soon enough if you give it a chance!

Set your goals with your team but also get your team's input on change if new situations come up. We know it rarely happens where you set your goals, tell your team and everyone goes off like little machines to make sure they meet the targets and everything is perfect. Have an attitude of patience, flexibility and also creativity to deal with sudden changes. Remember, being the business owner doesn´t mean you solve every single problem on your own. Your team can help give ideas to manage different situations, and they can also feel invested and trusted to bring in their part to keep the ship afloat and sail on.

CATS4TAX is a consistent source our clients can turn to as they go through each year and the different phases of their business development. We have witnessed the successes and wins of our clients, and we are looking ahead to 2023, ready to celebrate more goals and breakthroughs!

Get in touch with CATS4TAX:

0404 483 685

Lyndall Ward, CATS4Tax Business and Tax Accountant


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